United States president-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday selected Georgia Congressman and orthopaedic surgeon Tom Price as his health and human services secretary. Besides, Indiana health policy consultant Seema Verma was chosen for the post of administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reported The Guardian.
The selection of Price, a known critic of Obamacare, has put the future of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in doubt. “He [Price] is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American. I am proud to nominate him as secretary of health and human services,” said Trump’s statement. Price accepted the offer and said he was “humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead”. The 62-year-old Congressman added that his policies will be “based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country”.
However, Price’s nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, Price’s department will have an annual budget of more than $1 trillion. With that amount, it will look into health programmes, monitor agencies that regulate food and drugs and sponsor biomedical research.
Price has introduced Bills in every Congress session since 2009, offering a replacement plan for Obamacare. His biggest objection is that it interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions, reported The New York Times. According to Price, his proposed Empowering Patients First Act will offer age-adjusted tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance policies. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.
Democrats severely criticised the selection of Price. “Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told The New York Times that Price “poses a grave threat to women’s health” and warned that that as health secretary he “could take women back decades.”